I know you know where chocolate milk comes from and that red cows don’t produce strawberry shakes.
But rural people often laugh at the misconceptions that non-rural people have. Some of the simpler wrong notions include the idea that black cows give chocolate milk or that bulls have horns and cows don’t.
And it is frustrating to hear people comment that we don’t need to have all those dairy cows because people can get their milk from Safeway instead.
I once had a college roommate mock me because I didn’t know that buttermilk came from stirring melting butter into milk. The fact that I had seen buttermilk in the actual making of butter in a churn didn’t impact her at all.
But one of my favorite stories came when a non-rural family came to visit.
“Can we come over this evening and watch you milk your goats?” This phone call came from our neighbor who had weekend guests wanting to experience some rural flavor.
So they came. The neighbor brought a dad with two teenage boys. The dad, Jim, had experienced a slice of farm life from his days visiting his grandparents on their farm. So this was warm nostalgia for him.
Not so much for the teenage boys.
They were willing to wander around outside pestering the ducks before Dad ordered them into the milking room.
“This is cool,” he said. “Get in here and watch.”
So I milked and answered questions from Jim while the boys leaned against the far wall with their hands in their pockets. Then they all went home.
My neighbor called me the next morning. “Jim said thanks for letting them come over.” And she laughed. “And the boys came back here to announce that, after seeing where milk came from, they are never drinking milk again.”
“Whew,” I said. “Good thing they don’t know where eggs come from, then. They might never eat again.”